By Erin Waks
It was with great sadness that I read of the passing of a true British legend, a household name and the first actor to portray Ian Fleming’s iconic James Bond: Sean Connery. The first of the six actors to portray the role thus far, Connery has been widely regarded as the embodiment of the Bond persona: suave, charming, and impossibly cool. Possibly one of the most quintessential British film and book franchises, there is no way to underestimate the impact of the Bond legacy on British film, culture and style. In light of his passing, it seems only pertinent to reflect upon Connery’s lasting legacy, and what we have learnt and gained from the Bond series today.
Bond’s appeal is almost universal.
Whether we adore the fast pace of the earlier movies, the drama and violence of Dr No and Goldfinger, or prefer the international debonair themes of From Russia with Love, there is something in the franchise for everyone. Despite the controversy of later films, with critics dubbing Skyfall as ‘too emotional,’ and personal, I don’t agree. Rather, the way in which the new production team present the multidimensional facets to Bond’s history is quite exquisite – we gain an insight to his past, still without losing that illusion of mystery. We are, in short, enamoured by what we cannot know about the character. He is always one step ahead. Connery’s masterful expression captures this beautifully, and he will, in my eyes, always be the iconic Bond.
And let’s not forget the impact of the music of the films. From the start, the franchise has capitalised on the greatest talent of the era in which each film is made. Not only does the film feature background music to rival any other, with high paced chases contrasting romantic love scenes, we have classics now that would not exist without it. Featuring iconic songs from Paul McCartney all the way to Madonna and Adele, it’s safe to say that the landscape of music and the charts today would look quite different, were it not for Bond.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve also seen the massive impact of the series on the world.
Having its release delayed twice, audiences are clearly upset by the lack of screenings of the new film, No Time to Die, and I think the delay will undoubtedly impact positively on the movie’s revenue. Originally delayed because of the global crisis, there is no question that when the film is finally released next April, it will surely be an event for the history books. Daniel Craig, like each of the past Bond actors, brings his own twist to the role, and never disappoints. The British and global public, will surely not miss a chance to yet again be bewitched by the suave magic that is 007.
For me, I think Bond represents everyone’s ‘ideal.’
We all want to be like Bond – we desire his constant style, the way he leaves and enters a room, the way he is always the smartest in the room, the way he avoids all social faux-pas and takes control of a situation without so much as a turn of the head. He is the epitome of cool; he never embarrasses himself, is always collected, and is, quite frankly, adored by all those around him. I think Bond, for me embodied in Sean Connery’s portrayal, is exactly the person all of us wish we were, and dream of being.
However you like your Bond – in book form, film form, or in the form of Sean Connery dressed in a suit with a martini in hand, it cannot be denied: such an icon will surely be missed.